Vomiting Without Diarrhea
See More Appropriate Topic (instead of this one):
- Vomiting is the forceful emptying (throwing up) of what is in the stomach
- It's normal for nausea (upset stomach) to come before each bout of vomiting
- Other names for vomiting are puking, barfing and heaving
- Main Cause. Stomach infection from a stomach virus (such as Rotavirus). The illness starts with vomiting. Watery loose stools follow within 12-24 hours.
- Food Poisoning. This causes rapid vomiting and diarrhea within hours after eating the bad food. Caused by toxins from germs growing in foods left out too long. An example is Staph toxin in egg salad.
- Coughing. Hard coughing can also cause your child to throw up. This is common in children with reflux.
- Serious Causes. Vomiting alone (without diarrhea) should stop within about 24 hours. If it lasts over 24 hours, you must think about more serious causes. Examples are appendicitis, a kidney infection or head injury.
- Mild: 1 - 2 times/day
- Moderate: 3 - 7 times/day
- Severe: Vomits everything, nearly everything or 8 or more times/day
- Severity relates even more to how long the vomiting goes on for. At the start of the illness, it's common for a child to vomit everything. This can last for 3 or 4 hours. Children then often become stable and change to mild vomiting.
- The main risk of vomiting is dehydration. Dehydration means the body has lost too much fluid.
- The younger the child, the greater the risk for dehydration.
Return to School
- Your child can return to school after the vomiting and fever are gone.
For Breastfed Babies, Reduce the Amount Per Feeding:
When to Call for Vomiting Without Diarrhea
Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If
- Can't wake up
- Not moving or too weak to stand
- You think your child has a life-threatening emergency
Call Us Now (night or day) If
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Acts or talks confused
- Hard to wake up
- Stiff neck or bulging soft spot
- Dehydration suspected. (No urine in over 8 hours, dark urine, very dry mouth and no tears)
- Blood in the vomit that's not from a nosebleed
- Bile (green color) in the vomit (Exception: Stomach juice which is yellow)
- Stomach pain when not vomiting. (Exception: Stomach pain or crying just before vomiting is quite common.)
- Appendicitis suspected. (pain low on right side, won't jump, wants to lie still)
- Diabetes suspected (drinking lots, frequent urine, weight loss)
- Poisoning suspected
- Age under 12 weeks old with vomiting 2 or more times. (Exception: normal spitting up)
- Getting Pedialyte (or clear fluids) and vomits all of it for more than 8 hours
- High-risk child (such as diabetes, stomach or head injury)
- Weak immune system. (Such as sickle cell disease, HIV, cancer, organ transplant, taking oral steroids)
- Vomiting a prescription medicine
- Fever over 104° F (40° C)
- Age under 12 weeks old with fever. (Caution: Do NOT give your baby any fever medicine before being seen.)
- You think your child needs to be seen urgently
Call Us Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
- You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently
- Vomits for more than 24 hours
- Fever lasts more than 3 days
- Fever returns after gone for more than 24 hours
Call Us During Weekday Office Hours If
- You have other questions or concerns
- Vomiting is a frequent problem
Parent Care at Home If
- Mild or moderate vomiting (most likely viral gastritis)
For Bottlefed Babies, Give Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) for 8 Hours
CARE ADVICE FOR VOMITING WITHOUT DIARRHEAWhat You Should Know:
- Most vomiting is caused by a viral infection of the stomach. Sometimes, mild food poisoning is the cause.
- Vomiting is the body's way of protecting the lower gut.
- The good news is that stomach illnesses last only a short time.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- ORS is a special fluid that can help your child stay hydrated. You can use Pedialyte or the store brand of ORS. It can be bought in food or drug stores.
- If vomits once, keep on regular formula.
- If more than once, offer ORS for 8 hours. If you don't have ORS, use formula.
- Spoon or syringe feed small amounts. Give 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) every 5 minutes.
- After 4 hours without throwing up, double the amount.
- Return to Formula. After 8 hours without throwing up, go back to regular formula.
- Return to Solid Foods. If over 4 months old and after 8 hours without vomiting, add solids. Start with cereals. Then, slowly add other baby foods.
- Return to normal diet in 24-48 hours.
- If vomits once, nurse 1 side every 1 to 2 hours.
- If more than once, nurse for 5 minutes every 30 to 60 minutes. After 4 hours without throwing up, return to regular nursing.
- If continues to vomit, switch to ORS (such as Pedialyte). Do this for 4 hours.
- Spoon or syringe feed small amounts of ORS. Give 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) every 5 minutes.
- After 4 hours without throwing up, return to regular feeding at the breast. Start with small feedings of 5 minutes every 30 minutes. As your baby keeps down the smaller amounts, slowly give more.